Most people are registered with a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor.
GPs provide the first point of contact for most medical services and GPs work with other healthcare professionals in a practice, including nursing staff and pharmacists.
GPs should be identifying patients registered with their practice who are at risk of having a stroke or a TIA (mini-stroke). This is called primary prevention. They should have a register of patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol in the blood and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beats) - all these people are at a higher than average risk of having a stroke. They should offer advice about lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of stroke and consider specific medical treatments to minimise the risk of patients having a stroke.
GPs who see patients with symptoms of a possible stroke or a TIA will make an emergency referral to the specialist stroke team in the local hospital. Together they will agree the next steps, which may be to go to the local hospital's emergency department or to attend the TIA clinic.